Project Itoh wrote <harmony/> on his death bed just before he died of cancer.  The anime adaptation (Blu-ray release 2016-3-9) is reportedly very faithful to the novel, unlike The Empire of Corpses adaptation.

After a period of nuclear wars among nations, people created a utopia in which every adult has a WatchMe device installed into his or her body, for medical monitoring and uploading their personal status to medical government.  Through this scheme optimal nutrients are assigned to each person, and diseases are eliminated.  People become public resource, personal information becomes public, and they are taught to care about each other.  Harmful stuff such as wine is banned.

Three girls, who thought that installing WatchMe means losing their freedom, formed a suicide pact.  However, two survived, one of which is the protagonist.  After growing up to be an officer, she witnesses her friend committing suicide in front of her, and investigates a series of similar incidents.

People who have read the novel seem to be pleased with this adaptation.  However, this movie is not my usual idea of entertainment, because it is basically a talky drama with a lot of philosophical discussions.  Those who do not mind these attributes will be shown a never-before-seen utopian city that is also hell from a different perspective.  This is a result of pushing something good to the extreme.  It is truly original, although I’d like some more excitement.

SPOILERS – Explanations of <harmony/>

This explanation is based on an article written by Faker.

At the end of movie, the world is taken over by the harmony program.  Everybody will always make the best choice for everybody, thereby eliminating conflicts, preventing world wars once and for all, balancing short-term and long-term benefits in a unified manner, losing individual desires and therefore individual consciousness.

In the novel, the protagonist killed the antagonist out of revenge for her father and friend.  In the movie, she loves her too much to see her lose her consciousness and cease to become an individual, so she killed her before harmony program starts.

The movie depicts the computer record of the protagonist witnessing the final moments of humanity.  This record is written in a form of Emotion-in-Text Markup Language (ETML).  Owing to harmony, the reader will automatically feel the emotion specified by the markup tags.  The title <harmony/> is in a tag form that signifies the end – of humanity.

 

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